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  • Meagan Turner

What Can I Say Instead of "Sorry for Your Loss"?

I recently got the opportunity to contribute to an article about grief for UpJourney. Below is my contribution, and the full article can be found here!


“Does your family have any allergies? I’d love to bring over some meals for you during this painful time.”

Before I say more, consider the phrase for a moment. How does it begin? “I.” The premise of your well-meaning statement begins by signaling your own discomfort with the person’s grief and loss.

Of course, it is the conventional, polite way to express sympathy, but is there a better way?

Begin with the person in mind. Reflect what they must be feeling: “You’re really missing [name], and that’s a devastating loss.” You know your person better than a stranger writing this, so tailor your response to them. You don’t have to presume to know their feeling, either.

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